UK & World News

  • 7 July 2014, 21:27

Super Typhoon Neoguri Barrels Towards Japan

A super typhoon that is barrelling towards Japan has prompted the country's weather agency to issue its highest alert.

Neoguri is on its way towards the southern Okinawa island where violent winds and high waves are expected.

It is currently east of Taiwan, but is expected to head northwest and then turn northeast towards mainland Japan.

The typhoon warning - the first since a new system began last August - means that the storm poses a threat to life.

It is feared it could inflict massive damage as it gusts up to 160mph (270kph) and brings waves as high as 14 metres (46ft).

Government leaders held emergency meetings and warned local governments and residents to be prepared.

Satoshi Ebihara, the head of the Japan's weather forecast division, told reporters: "This typhoon could be the strongest typhoon in history, for the month of July."

"There is a risk of unprecedentedly strong winds and torrential rains. Please refrain from non-essential outdoor activities," he said.

There are no nuclear plants on Okinawa but there are two on nearby Kyushu and one on Shikoku island, which borders Kyushu and could also be affected.

The power plants have been shut down in line with national policy.

A large number of US military personnel are based on Okinawa.

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